Latehar (Jharkhand): Overcoming fear for Maoists, people in the extremist-hit Latehar district are now looking up to the administration for support in enhancing their income through honey extraction.
The administration has started guiding and training women self-help groups in extracting nectar from honeycombs found abundantly on treetops in the district and forests at Betla, Mahuadand and Garu of the district. Hitherto, people employed crude methods to extract honey, but revival of a honey processing plant and making it women-centric has opened the avenues for enhancing their paltry income.
"We have revived a Honey Processing Plant and sent a request letter (to the Centre) for organic certification to the product," Deputy Commissioner Aradhana Patnaik said. Once organic certification was given, the product would be known as "Betla Honey”, Patnaik said. "Organic certification will open markets, particularly foreign (ones), which will help (customers know) that no pesticide is used and they get a purified honey," she said.
The official said it would be attached to Jharkhand Silk Textile and Handicraft Development Corporation (Jharcraft) to find market with value addition to organic honey. "Training is being imparted to the women in honey extraction. This will help them earn Rs 5000 to Rs 6000 per month...we have plans to connect more women in this business,” Patnaik said.
She said that people in the district were no longer willing to allow fear of the Maoists to come in the way of earning money.


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